Planning for a Better Environment

Protecting and enhancing the environment is an established core purpose of planning. However, the Government's aspiration to leave the environment in a better state for future generations, alongside the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, provide significant new opportunities and challenges for LPAs.

Planning reform, the Environment Act and Improvement Plan, and the Government’s broader consideration of land use in England, provide significant opportunities for planning to play a key role in meeting Government’s aspiration to create a better environment for future generations.

And yet we know from our work with Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), including biodiversity net gain, nature recovery and nutrient neutrality, that this is a complex agenda requiring integrated, coordinated approaches to achieve multifunctional benefits from the use of land. Our New Environmental Planning Jigsaw summarises the many new environmental planning topics which LPAs will need to consider.

As we await further regulations and guidance from Government, we think it is important that LPAs can learn from each other and share their experience of what ‘planning for a better environment’ looks like. Whilst it is still early days, there is a lot of good practice out there.

Here, we aim to make connections between our various environmental planning work programmes, draw together and share insights and experience from a range of LPAs, and provide a range of tools and products.

We hope that local planning authorities will find it helpful and that it provides a useful starting point for thinking about planning for a better environment.